Victoria’s Secret’s Failed “Woke Campaign” Results in Backtracking from Plus-Sized Models

Victoria’s Secret, once a dominant force in the world of lingerie, has recently faced heavy criticism for its failed attempt at a “woke campaign” that aimed to promote inclusivity by featuring plus-sized models. However, this ill-conceived campaign quickly backfired, leading to a swift backtrack by the brand. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind Victoria’s Secret’s misstep and explore the implications it has for the company’s reputation and future in the industry. Let’s examine how this controversial campaign became a case study of the importance of authenticity and sensitivity in marketing strategies.

Victoria’s Secret’s Failed “Woke Campaign” Results in Backtracking from Plus-Sized Models


Victoria’s Secret, once known for its hypersexualized image, embarked on a rebranding journey in 2019, adopting a more inclusive and socially conscious approach. However, after facing falling sales and failing to recover projected revenue decreases, the company is now abandoning its woke marketing strategy and backtracking from featuring plus-sized models. This decision reflects the brand’s realization that being woke doesn’t always work for its target audience. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind Victoria’s Secret’s failed woke campaign and the implications it holds for the brand’s future.

The Unsuccessful Rebranding Efforts

Despite initially garnering attention and applause for its attempts to modernize, Victoria’s Secret’s woke campaign failed to deliver the desired results. Instead of regaining its dwindling customer base, the company experienced a further decline in sales. This disappointing outcome suggests that the brand’s target audience was not receptive to the new direction Victoria’s Secret was taking.

Victoria’s Secret’s Plan to Revert to Its Roots

In order to address the declining sales and reconnect with its customer base, Victoria’s Secret has decided to resume its traditional marketing approach. The company is bringing back its popular runway shows, relaunching swimwear and activewear lines, and modernizing its physical stores. By refocusing on its core strengths, Victoria’s Secret aims to recapture the excitement and allure that made it a household name in the first place.

The Backlash against Plus-Sized Models

One of the most notable aspects of Victoria’s Secret’s rebranding efforts was its inclusion of plus-sized models. However, this decision received significant backlash from both consumers and critics. Many argued that Victoria’s Secret’s attempt to cater to social trends and embrace body positivity seemed disingenuous and off-brand. As a result, the company has decided to abandon this aspect of its woke campaign.

Focusing on Customer Desires

Critics of Victoria’s Secret’s woke campaign argue that the brand should have focused on giving customers what they actually want, rather than trying to conform to changing societal norms. By steering away from its hypersexualized image, the brand alienated its core audience and failed to attract a new one. This serves as a lesson for other companies looking to adopt similar social approaches to marketing.

Lessons from Other Backlash Cases

Victoria’s Secret is not the first company to face backlash for its woke marketing campaigns. Bud Light and Target also experienced pushback from consumers when they attempted to align themselves with social causes. These examples highlight the importance of understanding one’s target audience and ensuring that marketing efforts are in line with customers’ values and desires.

Criticism of Victoria’s Secret’s Leadership

The CEO of Victoria’s Secret has faced criticism for not being aware of the controversial nature of the brand’s marketing campaigns and for lacking strong leadership in place. It is essential for companies to have effective leaders who can navigate the complexities of societal trends and guide the brand in a way that resonates with customers.

Short-Sighted Decisions and the Quest for Common Sense

While woke marketing may be a trend in society, it is crucial for brands to consider the long-term implications of their decisions. Common sense dictates that companies should prioritize customer desires and navigate social issues with integrity. Unfortunately, short-sighted decisions can lead to negative repercussions for both brands and individuals involved.


Victoria’s Secret’s failed woke campaign serves as a cautionary tale for companies attempting to overhaul their brand image. The decision to backtrack from featuring plus-sized models reflects the brand’s realization that customer desires must come first. By refocusing on what made Victoria’s Secret successful in the first place, the company hopes to regain its allure and reconnect with its target audience.


  1. Why did Victoria’s Secret’s woke campaign fail?
  2. What steps is Victoria’s Secret taking to recover its declining sales?
  3. Why did the decision to feature plus-sized models receive backlash?
  4. Which other companies faced pushback for their woke marketing campaigns?
  5. What can be learned from Victoria’s Secret’s leadership in handling controversial marketing campaigns?
Challenge Secrets Masterclass

At Last! The “Funnel Guy” Teams-Up With The “Challenge Guy” For A Once-In-A-Lifetime Masterclass!

The ONE Funnel Every Business Needs, Even If You Suck At Marketing!

Just 60 Minutes A Day, Over The Next 5 Days, Pedro Adao & Russell Brunson Reveal How To Launch, Grow, Or Scale Any Business (Online Or Off) Using A ‘Challenge Funnel’!

Leave a Comment